If you’ve ever looked up your possible due date or pregnancy facts online, you’ve likely ended up with a copy of a popular and free baby magazine in your actual mailbox later that month. It’s magic, I think. I’ve not only been subscribed SEVERAL times when I thought I was pregnant- one time I even started receiving formula and diaper samples. Thanks, internets.
The cover is adorable. It’s always someone else’s anime- eyed baby, looking clean and happy in some Swedish made organic clothing. The headlines are inviting.
Beat Winter Germs!
Comfort a Gassy Baby in Minutes
Nautical Nursery Ideas
The Vaccine Debate
How to Find the Right Preschool
When Will She Walk?
In short, this magazine promises to give you every new, practical, and encouraging tip for keeping your child healthy, smart, and successful.
But what If I told you that’s not enough?
What if I told you that your child can be healthy, happy, and even grow up to be the President of the World, and you can still have completely failed at parenting?
Because none of that is enough.
Health and safety are huge topics in parenting. You want to know that your child will live. You want them to survive a week at the ocean, their first ear infection, and that weird rash on her butt.
I understand. I, too, have spent sleepless nights with a child in pain. I’ve read long debates about vaccines and a million labels at the grocery store. We care about their little bodies.
But not good enough.
Too many parents have healthy, safe, spiritually malnourished children because it is very common in our materialistic society to feed the child’s body and starve her soul.
It’s not enough to care for a child and make sure she survives to adulthood. It’s not enough to make sure she’s healthy in her physical body.
She has a spiritual body, too, with spiritual needs.
Have you spent as much time reading online about how to point your child to the Lord as you have read about her allergies?
Have you spent as much time in prayer for him as you have looking for healthy recipes on pinterest?
Have you read as many scriptures to them as you’ve made sure their buckle was fastened in the car?
Another topic that’s big is education. Not only at formal school, but the little things you do to foster your child’s creativity and intelligence. Magazines are full of fun and cool ways to build teaching into your everyday life- A list of apps that teach spanish, or ways to incorporate classic literature into your daughter’s birthday party.
We’re all consumed with whether our child is learning enough. Excelling enough. We sign them up for karate and cooking and ballet and swim lessons. We want to be sure to cram every tiny bit of experience and learning into them that we can, or else…
Or else what?
Or else they won’t succeed, we say. They won’t get into college, they won’t make the Honor Roll, they won’t get picked for Varsity, they won’t get scholarships, they won’t get hired at a job with benefits and find the One Thing they are meant to do that will pay well and give them paid vacations.
They will fail.
But let’s say they don’t. Let’s say, for instance, that 99 cent app makes them bilingual. Those gymnastic lessons get her to the Olympics. Her spelling is so amazing she wins the National Bee. He grows up, goes to Yale, graduates Summa Cum Laude, and gets hired as the number one new constitutional lawyer at the biggest Law Firm in the United States.
Did you know you could still be a complete failure?
Because his body could be in perfect health.
His mind could be sharp as a tack.
He could be the highest educated person in the world.
But if his spirit is starving, he’s practically dead.
I’m not trying to scare you.
I’m just trying to say…
Feed his soul.
Feed her spirit.
Look farther than making sure they get baths every night and all their shots and are signed up for pre-K on time.
Think about the eternal.
In 2 Corinthians, it says…
We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Usually that verse is used to help us to realize our problems are only passing.
But let it remind you today that there’s a much longer game here in parenting.
As parents we ought to be concerned about our children’s growth in every way… their physical, educational, emotional… and spiritual needs, too.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
– Matthew 16:26a
Today, right now, I urge you to turn to the Lord in prayer, contemplating and actively planning for your child’s spiritual growth.